Atiku seeks probe of alleged fund diversion by Buhari’s son-in-law

Presidential candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) Atiku Abubakar on Wednesday called on Nigeria’s anti-graft agencies, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices (ICPC) to probe the alleged diversion of about N18 billion Naira by president Muhammadu Buhari and his son-in-law, Junaid Abdullahi.

A statement by Atiku’s media aide Phrank Shaibu said Buhari and Abdullahi have been “engaging in corruption, economic sabotage and unethical conduct by using funds creamed off fake contract awards to fund the president’s re-election campaign to the tune of about eighteen billions of naira.”

“Atiku called on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices & Other Related Offenses Commission, to thoroughly investigate this act of corruption and economic sabotage, for its corrosive effects on the economy as well as the 2019 general elections,” Shaibu said in the statement.

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Shaibu, however, did not state Buhari, against whom his principal is running for the presidency diverted the fund.

Premium Times had reported that “no fewer than 815 contractors were recently shortlisted by the Border Communities Development Agency (BDCA) for hundreds of constituency projects despite failing to meet federal contracting requirements.”

Atiku, who was Nigeria’s vice president during the Olusegun Obasanjo administration from 1999 to 2007, accused Buhari of diverting funds of the projects to fund his re-election campaigns.

He alleged that Buhari’s son-in-law Junaid Abdullahi, who heads Nigeria’s Border Communities Development Agency (BCDA), “has been using the BCDA for hundreds of phoney lawmakers’ constituency projects, using non-existent firms to fund Buhari’s electioneering campaign.”

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“No fewer than 815 contractors were recently shortlisted by the Border Communities Development Agency (BCDA) for hundreds of constituency projects ranging from N10 million to 200 million worth of contracts, despite failing to meet federal contracting requirements.”

The spokesman for PDP presidential candidate who, cited “instances of companies through which President Muhammadu Buhari is using to syphon government resources for his re-election bid,” said the disregard for key criteria for the selection of prospective contractors were in violation of the Public Procurement Act (PPA) 2007 and an “apparent move to amass funds for President Muhammadu Buhari’s re-election bid.”

Section 23 (1) of the PPA (2007) law says, “Where a procuring entity has made a decision with respect to the minimum qualification of suppliers, contractors or service providers by requesting interested persons to submit applications to prequalify, it shall set out precise criteria upon which it seeks to give consideration to the applications and in reaching a decision as to which supplier, contractor or service provider qualifies, shall apply, only the criteria set out in the prequalification documents and no more.”

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